Posted by News Express | 13 July 2016 | 2,493 times
Oil workers have called off their strike, with union leaders ordering immediate resumption of work.
An announcement on the suspension of the strike was made this morning on radio in Port Harcourt, capital of Rivers State and the hub of Nigeria’s oil industry.
“We heard the announcement on a local radio station and we are already on our way to work,” an oil worker based in Port Harcourt told News Express minuets ago.
The strike started last Thursday and the Federal Government opened negotiations with the striking workers on Monday. Addressing the media on Monday evening, President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Mr Francis Johnson, had declared that the strike would continue until all issues raised before the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and that of Labour are fully addressed.
Mr Johnson, speaking after a closed-door meeting at the NNPC Headquarters in Abuja, disclosed that the decision on whether or not to suspend the strike would be made by the national executive council of the union.
Redundancy in the oil sector is one of the key issues that sparked the strike. Yesterday, Minister of Labour, Senator Chris Ngige, held a separate meeting with the international oil companies in a bid to find a common ground on the issue.
The dialogue had in attendance the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister of Labour, Dr Chris Ngige, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, and leaders of PENGASSAN and NUPENG.
One of the issues discussed is the implementation of the 2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement between the federal government and the unions.
Also tabled for discussion were the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Bill and the state under which the oil workers operate, especially with regard to lack of power and bad roads.
Before the meeting went into closed-door, Dr. Kachikwu gave the assurance that the meeting would resolve the issues amicably.
The PENGASSAN had last week declared an industrial action over the dispute, while NUPENG postponed its action pending the outcome of this meeting.
•Photo shows Labour Minister Chris Ngige.
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